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User Rating Comment Status
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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10
Apr 2008*
9/3/09: I'm so excited this game is finally coming out! We get the pre-production proofs this weekend!

I think alexfrog has done a great job balancing all the various buildings in the game, and there's really a lot of emergent strategy that comes out of every play. As an example, the last game I played had a 1 point margin between the top 2 players: 1 player was broke the whole game, took a lot of debt and sold some goods to pay for auctions, was using Gold to pay for 5 workers (which is a lousy use for Gold, and a lot of workers), and yet refused to pass and build up some cash. He scored the majority of his points from selling cubes and a particular building that has 2 worker slots yielding 2 points each. The other passed almost 1/2 of the rounds, was very careful about which buildings he bought so that they were all complimentary and scored large bonuses off of them. These 2 players were 1 point apart, with the broke guy winning. If there were 2 more diametrically opposed strategies in a game, then I'm sure I've never seen them, and these two both worked well.
2009-09-03
Owned
Gerald Cameron
Canada
Unspecified
Nova Scotia
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10
Jul 2012
The more I think about this game, the more impressed I am by it, and playing it spurred plenty of thought.

Homesteaders is probably the first legitimate heir to the legacy of classic euro "systems" games like Puerto Rico and Princes of Florence since (choose your favourite) Goa, Caylus or In the Shadow of the Emperor. On the other hand, it is also a streamlining of a lot of the design seen in games like Agricola and Le Havre and, thanks to the streamlining, works far better for me than those games do (although I do not hate them, either).

Complaints that Homesteaders doesn't do anything new, though, look at the mechanics and not the experience. Setting aside the fact that it is the first strategic resource shuffling game to play reliably (regardless of player count) in under 2 hours, the Trade token constraint on that resource shuffling is, I think, original, interesting and more effective than similar systems in worker placement games. It's probably no coincidence that this is the first important resource shuffler (that I know of) that isn't a worker placement game, too.

This is one of the all-too-rare genuinely planning-focused euros, and I love almost all of them. The buildings do a great job of differentiating player positions and setting up strategic paths.

I think the idea of auctioning off building lots instead of specific buildings is what makes this game work, though. It maintains competition while leaving players with the latitude to follow a plan instead of tactically adapting to the buildings on the market. Not a solution I would have thought of, either.

The simple graphic design works for me, since it is readable (once you know the iconography) from across the table, but other production issues bother me more. I got one of the damp sets, and that made punching the myriad bits frustrating, with several small pieces (mostly the star-shaped VP chits) delaminating some. The misaligned print is bad enough that the games should probably have been returned to the printer, although it's not quite a show stopper for me.
2010-06-16
Owned
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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10
Jan 2011
I really enjoy Homesteaders a lot. The auction mechanic is straight forward and doesn't take away from the main meat of the game. This really isn't worker placement game since the only place you can put workers is on your own stuff, no one else can get in the way. Rather i look at as a city building, economic engine game with an auction driving your purchases.

Official 2p variant works great.
2011-10-11
Owned
Michael Sillion
Sweden
Varberg
Unspecified
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10
Mar 2010
An amazingly well designed game and equally fun and interesting to play.

My new favorite Game. Thanks Alexfrog!
2010-06-03
Owned
Want To Play
Matt Musselman
Canada
Burnaby
BC
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10
Feb 2010
Like a faster-playing, Western-themed version of Le Havre, where the Amon Re style auction adds a lot of tension. Great game.
2010-02-09
Owned
Tiffany Smith
United States
Portland
Oregon
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10
Apr 2010
Homesteaders is a delightfully fun auction game with tons of choices. The trade chit mechanic, and indeed the whole buying and selling of goods, is truly inspired and one of the most delightful parts of the game. I really enjoy finding out how much I can get from my simple resources.

The auction mechanic is much more successful than in other games with a similar mechanic (Amun-Re and Vegas Showdown are the first two that come to mind) because you are buying an opportunity. In most games with an auction, you are buying something concrete: a particular room for your casino, a particular land plot with particular worth, a particular card or jester or effect. In Homesteaders, you are buying the opportunity to buy a whole variety of buildings. No matter where you end up, there is almost always something worthwhile to purchase with your auctioned opportunity. Additionally, even if someone shuts you out of a particular building, there are plenty of options for pursuing your same strategy. Resources are scarce, but not so scarce that you feel the oppression of constantly digging yourself out of a hole.

In short, there are plenty of options in Homesteaders, and the auction forces players to play a different game every time while still offering the flexibility to play the game the way that you'd like.
2010-05-29
Owned
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
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10
May 2011
A fantastic game, with probably the richest game space I've ever seen, barring Puerto Rico and perhaps Agricola and its ilk.

My newest 10.
2011-05-20
Owned
Todd
United States
Warren
Michigan
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10
Aug 2013
I really love this game, great replayability.
2013-08-02
Owned
László K.
United States
Hopatcong
New Jersey
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10
Jun 2014
[2014.Jun.14] After 6 plays, I have yet to experience a bad game. Is it a light outing? No, certainly not. I am always ready to play it and I always have fun doing so. I guess that makes it a...

2014-06-13
Owned
Want To Play
Jim Seago
United States
Independence
Missouri
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10
Sep 2012
Le Havre lite...I'd probably say Le Havre is my favorite game out there so this one went over real well. I'm curious to see how I'll feel about it after 10+ plays but my guess is that this game will crack my top ten...perhaps top five.

Edit

After ten plays I'm still really enjoying it. Not as many options as say Le Havre but there's quite a few. The auction mechanic and how it plays out is what will keep this game fresh for me. I'm always willing to play this game.
2012-10-05
Owned
Kwanchai Moriya
United States
Monrovia
California
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10
Sep 2013
My favorite auction euro. Dense but thematically rewarding.
2013-08-31
Owned
Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
California
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10
Jul 2012
Love this game. I like the engine-building - through the buildings. And the auctions are good fun; I especially like the fact that there is a "consolation prize" track for the player who drops out of the auctions altogether.

There are lots of resources to work with, and that makes the game a nice mental challenge for me.
2012-07-03
Owned
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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10
Jul 2013
Fun. Frustrating. Addictive.

3.1 game weight
2014-08-25
Owned
John Meindersee II
United States
California
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10
Oct 2012
Pretty much my favorite game in the collection. The only drawback is sometimes the bidding phase can cause AP (analysis paralysis). Great game. Fun theme. I love it!
2012-10-02
Owned
Osamu Hirai
Japan
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10
May 2013
2-4(2-4)
B4
90m
2013-05-25
Owned
Louis Sylvester
United States
Lewiston
Idaho
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9.7
Oct 2013
I was so surprised by how good this game is. The first game we played started off a bit slow as I had to refer back to the rules a couple of times, but after a few turns the game flowed well. The second game was even better. I've not yet won, and probably never will as my gaming group seems to be better at this game than me, but I still love playing this. My biggest, most pleasant surprise of 2010 so far.

There is a snowball effect (meaning if you play poorly at first, you'll have a hard time catching up later), but as I've already said, the process of playing this game is so much fun that winning does not matter nearly as much as you'd think. Any game that can keep me smiling while I'm losing deserves high praise.
2010-04-05
Owned
Rob White
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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9.7
Mar 2013
June '10: Played at Tom's and bought it a week later. Really enjoying it. Simple to grasp. Fairly quick playing time. Cool auction style. And terrific with the designer's separate 2-player rules. Loving it.

Feb. '11: Haven't been playing this at all. Sad, but just too many other new games (7 Wonders, Civ., Prosperity, etc.). Hope to play this again soon.....

March '11: Played 2-player game with Tom at PrezCon. Still a terrific game. Want to play it more often.

Oct. '12: Why don't I play this more. Definitely a Top 10 game for me, but I only play it a couple times a year. I guess there are just too many other games. I've played something crazy like 135 different games this year, but how many have I enjoyed as much as Homesteaders? Need to play more!!

Feb. '13: Picked up a copy of the 2nd edition. My 1st edition is up for trade now.

**#7 in my first ever Top 200 (March 2013)**
2013-03-15
Prev. Owned
Tony Brum
United States
Honolulu
Hawaii
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9.7
Jun 2014
Homesteaders is simple to learn and gives players a number of reasonably difficult choices each turn. A very good game with many paths to victory. There seems to be plenty of avenues to victory, which of course is a must in these types of games. I really enjoy games with buildings/tiles that players purchase and use to give them a variety of goods, actions and/or income. All in all the game is enjoyable and time seems to fly by as your brain remains reasonably active throughout.
2014-06-08
Owned
Richard Hoover
United States
Indiana
Pennsylvania
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9.6
Aug 2010
This game was surprisingly good. Close to perfect game for me and would be my pick for example of the type of game I like best.

Only reason I don't give 10 is I presume no game is perfect or could not be made better, such as this one could be made even better with a couple more types of buildings to choose each phase (settlement, town, city).

I find this 90% scratches my itch for Le Havre (which this game has parts of) and even for Through the Ages (not sure why, as no where similar). Both take 2 hours plus with 2 people versus being able to play this in 2 (with learning rules) with 4 and I imagine with more play, under 1.5 hrs.


2010-08-14
Owned
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
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9.5
Feb 2010
Wow this is looking to be a great game! Many shades of variations of paths to victory with lots of options each turn. The time to play is much longer than expected, at least for the first couple games, as you learn what all the buildings do, and how they might produce VPs for you. Our first game was very tight, and everyone had a slightly different strategy. Was fun and interesting to see prices for properties skyrocket from one turn to the next--for the exact same properties...if only I knew then what I know now, syndrome...suddenly everyone needed to get a couple specific buildings to optimize their paths.

Component quality is more than adequate, but if you expect everything to look like Fantasy Flight games, it's not near that. for us, the games are far more important than how they look, and we happily play Winsome games, 18xx kits, whatever...as long as the game is there the look is immaterial. As far as the backs of the auction tiles being "marked," that's patently ridiculous. The first thing anyone I want to play games with must know is: Don't cheat PERIOD. So you shuffle while looking away, big deal. It's only few tile. Once they're stacked, there are NO backs which are visible. The top tile is flipped to be face up each turn, covering the rest of the tiles...you cannot see the backs. Now sure, you could try and look when the tile is flipped...but DON'T. More than likely any foreknowledge is not going to help you anyway. You could, potentially hold more of your money for the next round, but that still might not help you win that auction, and certainly won't necessarily win you the game. But still, don't cheat.

I swear this kind of complaint irks me. What do these people who complain do, play cards with people who try and look at your hand? Why are they even playing with these people? Do they try and peek behind player screens? Do they get up "to go to the bathroom" so they can look at what the other players have as they return to the table? really?
2012-02-02
Owned
Jake Waltier
United States
Seattle
Washington
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9.5
Sep 2013
Just the right amount of auction and resource management. Beautiful components. Great for 2, 3, or 4 players. Plays very fast for something so deep and thoughtful.
2012-06-13
Owned
Marco Wong
Hong Kong
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9.5
Nov 2010
What a marvelous game! This is my most played game over the past 10 years and still not getting tired of it or feel a bit repeatitive.
2010-11-27
Owned
Kevin Pollock
United States
Vista
California
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9.5
Nov 2011
Terrific game with quick play time.
2012-07-31
Owned
Ian Klinck
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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9.5
Nov 2013
LP: 3-Nov-13
[T]
2013-11-03
Owned
Want To Play
john malafronte
Czech Republic
Prague 2
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9.5
Jan 2013
In USA
2015-01-29
Owned

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